Last week, Maggie Rogers took her Heard It in a Past Life tour across California, playing shows in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and Berkeley. After pre-ordering her record of the same name last December, seeing her in Santa Barbara seemed like a long time coming. Having never seen her perform live, all I can say is that it was better than I could have ever imagined. So, for those of you who are fans or those of you who’ve never heard of the witchy feminist rockstar, here’s a recap of what went down.
The show opened with the rock duo Now, Now (Minnesota natives!) who played and danced as everyone trickled into the Santa Barbara Bowl as the sun went down. Having been on tour with Maggie for a while, the group radiated love as they expressed their affection for her and her tour. That was later reciprocated when Maggie dedicated one of her songs to them and thanked them for joining her on tour.
Once the sun had set, it was time for Maggie. The bowl was mostly empty when we got there, but by the time her silhouette burst into view, the entire place was filled and going bananas. From there, against a backdrop of billowing white sheets and brightly colored lights, Maggie proceeded to perform almost every song she’s ever put out. I know every song is different when it’s performed live, but man, seeing somebody get as into it as Maggie does is really a spectacle. Her positive energy and kindness radiated throughout the Santa Barbara Riviera. This spirit manifested itself in her singing, her killer dance moves, her heartfelt dedications and introductions for her band members, a teary-eyed speech about her love of music and appreciation for creativity, and even stopping a song to make sure someone in the crowd was alright.
As if she weren’t enough of an angel that night, Maggie danced around the stage in all white. She twirled and ran around with a white shawl/scarf/cape, though it really looked more like wings. Her presence and energy were infectious. And while everyone there was into it, about 20% of the way through the show, Maggie gave everyone a little pep talk. She told us that while phones are great, we should to turn them off and be present in the moment. And people listened! Sure people recorded their favorite songs, but other than that, everyone was just in the space together, sharing the experience of every song.
I really can’t do written justice to the night or Maggie as an artist. Other than suggesting that you check out her music or catch her on tour, all I can tell you is that her music provides an experience that is simultaneously centering and transportive. Before her final song, Maggie reminded everyone that we turn to music to look for something bigger than ourselves. And watching everyone dance and sing that night, that was something bigger than all of us. So for anyone who’s searching or wandering or who just wants to dance, Maggie Rogers is gonna be right alongside you.
p.s. if you ever wanna jam to some Maggie please lmk:)